RESIDENTS planning a trip to London this month are being urged to plan ahead as one of the busiest stretches of track closes for essential upgrade work.
The West Coast Main Line at Watford Junction will be closed between Saturday and Monday, with a reduced rail service running until 4.30pm on Monday.
There will be further closures from Saturday, August 23 to Monday, August 25 and the line will reopen on Tuesday, August 26.
The line has reopened on time this morning following the latest phase of upgrade work. During the weekend more than 300 track workers and engineers replaced and installed new sections of railway and parts of a new modern signalling system in the area.
Passengers planning to travel to London during the next two weekends are being urged to avoid using the West Coast Main Line, which carries services from Stafford to London Euston, if travel is not essential. Alternative travel arrangements will be in place but journey times will be considerably longer than usual, Network Rail has warned.
Operators London Midland and Virgin Trains have arranged for their tickets to be accepted by alternative selected operators. Passengers should visit www.nationalrail.co.uk/Watford to plan their journey.
Terry Oliver, London Midland's head of west coast services, said: "My advice would be to use an alternative train route where possible. London Midland has arranged for its tickets to be accepted by selected operators to allow passengers to do this.
"If you need to travel along the affected route during the closures, remember to allow plenty of time, plan ahead and check before you travel.
"We have worked to minimise inconvenience and we will continue to update passenger information. Staff will be at stations along the closed route to provide assistance."